Sunday, May 23, 2010

In which I am indignant that no one has thought of this before, and speak a bit too overtly about my subject

Because here's the thing about EQUESTRIAN TRAINING: it seems ever so to depart from the kinds of things that Herbert scholars tend to obsess about. Indeed, it seems in its very existence a big stuck-out tongue to the kinds of issues that tend to get attached to the pious minister of Bemerton. But the reason I like Herbert, and the period generally, is that they're all freaked the hell out in exactly the same ways we are, though the archaic accent may throw us PoMos off. I read Donne, and Crashaw, and all the young dudes of the 17C precisely because they resonate with me in ways that the mannered 18C doesn't, in the way the we-feel-existentially-coherent-enough-for-narrative 18-19Cs don't. So why shouldn't EQUESTRIAN TRAINING, which articulates so well the way poetry responds to these kinds of freakouts, illuminate Herbert? To suggest radical difference between Herbert and, say, me (as a 21C writer), is to be reductive and insulting to both Herbert and me, right? Right?


Bardiac said...

I realize you're using a pseudonym, but I can't help but point out that Sidney talks about poetry and equestrian training together! :)

I love the way you put the field in terms of being freaked out. Identity! EEP! Sexuality! EEP! Power Relations! EEP! Language! EEP! Instability! EEP! :)

Flavia said...

Dude, I feel you. Just today I had an essay workshopped that drew significant (theoretical, methodological) skepticism from a significant portion of the room. Ain't fun to face that for 45 minutes before 35 people. But hey: they were engaged. And I guess it means I wasn't just doing the same-old.

So I say rock out with your EQUESTRIAN TRAINING; either we'll be written off as kooks or we'll revolutionize the field.

Gotta do what you do.

Blue Cheese said...

A horse is a horse, of course, of course, that horse is Herbert and dead.